We’ve jumped on the shiplap bandwagon. Let us tell you more.
We mentioned in our last post that one of our goals for this unexpected four week school closure was to “fix the damn trim,” which referred specifically to our dining room trim. When we first moved in, we had an entire week of snow days (do I ever go to work??), and we jumped on the opportunity to paint our main living area (and we’re still finding bits of white dust from all that drywall patching and sanding). When it came to our dining room, I decided to DIY our own trim…I think I followed a tutorial online to make your own farmhouse trim from regular pine boards. And to be honest, I didn’t know that primed MDF trim was actually a thing!
And after hours of cutting, sanding, painting, patching, and so on – we put up our beloved trim; the fruits of our labor handcrafted with our own blood, sweat, and tears.
And we hated it.
And it sat in our dining room for an entire year until a few days ago.
We tried. We really did. I mean, the trim itself wasn’t awful but it had some flaws. First, I measured wrong in a few spots (if you look to the right of the door in the image above you’ll see what I mean).
Second, the ceiling in here is slightly sloped because of our flat roof, and the big bulky top of the window and door trim only accentuate how crooked the ceiling is. And finally, see those tan dots all over the trim? That’s wood filler that ya boy never got around to sanding and painting. We knew since the moment we put this trim up that this shit had to go.
And earlier this week, we ripped off that crappy trim, kicked it to the curb (on trash day), and then it sat like this for a hot sec.
Fast forwarding to a few days ago, the day before our governor’s COVID-19 stay-at-home order went into effect, the stars all aligned. AKA everything was 11% off at Menard’s and we had Menards rebates to burn. A big thanks to Laryssa’s dad for picking up and delivering the shiplap boards using his cattle trailer…our shiplap isn’t the first DIY materials to be hauled with it, right, Ky?
We decided to go with vertical shiplap in this room as we think it will help hide that the ceiling is extremely crooked, and we went with 6″ and 8″ Nickel Gap Tongue and Groove Primed MDF boards for this project. We mostly used 6″ for most of the walls and bought a few 8″ pieces for corners and edges. We talked about making our own shiplap like our friends at For Richard or Poorer did, but opted for primed, already-cut boards, mostly because we’re not sure our itty bitty table saw could handle big sheets of plywood and we don’t have the right saw blades either.
Here’s a list of everything we’ve used for this project up until this point:
- 6″ and 8″ Nickel Gap Tongue and Groove Primed MDF Boards
- Ryobi AirStrike 18-Gauge Brad Nailer (our FAVORITE DIY tool!)
- 18-Gauge Brad Nails
- Strips of pine board (for spacers)
- Small level
- Miter Saw
- Table Saw
- Scroll Saw (to cut around outlets)
- Tape measure
- Speed Square
- New outlets and outlet covers
Our first step was to remove the barn wood panelling from underneath the windows, which also included removing the metal surround parts of the baseboard heaters, which was an absolute b**** to do. After we pried off the barn wood, we used 1″ thick pieces of pine board to serve as spacers. Basically the shiplap is sitting on top of the drywall, and it needed some support so it was sit even all the way down. If you were hanging shiplap on a normal wall, you wouldn’t have to worry about this. Most people would have hung even strips all the way across, but not us, man. Because we’re not normal. Far, far from normal.
And then we reattached the metal surrounds to the baseboard heaters, which was again nothing short of a pain in the a** to do.
Ah, onto the fun part: hanging the shiplap. And crap, I feel like I should have more to write here, but I don’t cause it’s so darn easy.
To take up as much space possible, you just have to:
- Measure the wall where the board will go.
- Cut the board using the miter saw. For the pieces around the windows and doors, we over cut and will trim those pieces later.
- Put the board in place, cuss a few times because it’s too long or too short, recut, and then use the brad nailer to attach it to the wall, making sure the spacing is even and everything’s gucci (my students hate it when I say that).
- Repeat steps 1 through 3, inserting the tongue into the groove of the previous piece.
Here’s a shot of where we ended on Day #1, about half way done with the room. God, that light from the late 1980’s needs to go.
When it came to the electrical outlets and switches, we just used the metal gangable boxes (yes, that’s their technical name!) to trace where the opening needed to go, and then we used our jigsaw to cut accordingly. And then we wired new outlets, turned on the breaker, and said a quick, non-denominational prayer that we didn’t wire something wrong and come upstairs to a blown up outlet. Anyway…
We just wrapped up Day #2 of shiplap-ing, and we have the two walls of the dining room complete, with just a few more boards to put up around the doors that lead to our basement and library.
We’re still not ready to cross this room off the list quite yet. Once the last few boards are up, we still have to cut and trim around the windows and door, paint the baseboard heaters, install baseboards, fill the nail holes (which we’re dreading, maybe we’ll take six months to get to that), paint, caulk, and lots of others things we’re forgetting. Oh, and other things like change out that awful light, and probably sand and refinish the exterior door (our four-legged girl decided to leave her mark on it a few months back.) And a new dining room table and chairs someday too – these one’s are all wobbly as hell. They were cheap thrift store finds from our first apartment together, so they’ve served their purpose.
We’re heading into a rainy and cloudy weekend, locked in the house with no where to go. Which really isn’t that different than any other weekend for us. Our goal is to completely finish the shiplap in here along with a few other projects that we’ve been working on. What’s everyone else been up to lately?